New York, New York (PRWEB) March 14, 2012
Public Health Watchdog, a media outlet created to inform the public about and protect them from defective drugs and medical devices, is recognizing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month by warning that some hormonal birth control methods may increase the risk that a woman will suffer life-threatening blood clots, including DVT. Public Health Watchdog notes that the popular birth control pills, Yaz and Yasmin, as well as the NuvaRing birth control device, have been named in numerous lawsuits alleging that they pose a higher risk of DVTs and other dangerous blood clots compared to alternate forms of hormonal birth control.
According to Pubic Health Watchdog, DVTs are dangerous blood clots that mainly affect the large veins in the lower leg and thigh. In 2005, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution declaring March as DVT Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 60,000-100,000 Americans die each year from DVTs and pulmonary embolism (PE). Of those people, 10-30 percent die within one month of diagnosis. Sudden death is the often first symptom in about one-quarter of people who have PE. [olpa.od.nih.gov/tracking/109/senate_res/session1/s_con_res-56.asp; cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/facts.html]
Yaz, Yasmin and NuvaRing Blood Clot Risks
According to Public Health Watchdog, all hormonal birth control methods are known to raise the risk of blood clots for the women who use them. However, Yaz, Yasmin and NuvaRing users have alleged in lawsuits that women who use these particular birth control methods face a higher risk than those who rely on other hormonal contraceptives.
Yaz and Yasmin contain a combination of the estrogen, ethinyl estradiol, and a synthetic progestin called drospirenone. In October 2011, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) released the results of a large study which found that Yaz, Yasmin and other birth control pills made with drospirenone increase the risk of blood clots by almost 74%, compared to those made with an older form of progestin. The FDA-funded study involved the medical histories of more than 800,000 American women, all of whom were on some type of birth control between 2001 and 2008. In December, a panel of FDA advisors voted 21-5 to recommend that labels for Yaz, Yasmin and similar pills be updated with stronger warnings about their possible potential to cause serious, life threatening blood clots [fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM277384.pdf]
NuvaRing is a flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina, and provides month-long birth control by emitting a continuous, low dose of ethinyl estradiol, and a progestin called etonogestrel for 21 days. The FDA study released in October also noted that combined hormonal contraceptives, including the etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring, “potentially result in higher sustained exposure to estrogen and hence, increased thromboembolic risk.” The study found NuvaRing raised the risk of blood clots, including DVT and PE by 56% when compared to older birth control pills. [fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM277384.pdf]
Yaz, Yasmin and NuvaRing Lawsuits
More than 10,000 lawsuits are currently pending in the Yasmin and Yaz (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2100) before the Honorable Judge David R. Herndon in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits claim that Yaz, Yasmin and similar pills made with drospirenone, increase the likelihood that a woman will suffer serious side effects, including DVT.
Similarly, in August 2008, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered all federally filed NuvaRing lawsuits consolidated in a multidistrict litigation and transferred to Judge Rodney W. Sippel of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri (MDL No. 1964). This litigation remains ongoing. Plaintiffs involved in this litigation allege that NuvaRing users face an increased danger of suffering blood clots, DVT, pulmonary embolism, heart attacks, strokes and sudden death. Plaintiffs further allege that Merck & Co. and Organon, the makers of NuvaRing, failed to adequately warn patients and their doctors about the potential for NuvaRing blood clots and other side effects.
About Public Health Watchdog
Public Health Watchdog is a media outlet created to provide consumers with up-to-date information about defective drugs and medical devices that could endanger their health. For more information on the side effects of Yaz, Yasmin and NuvaRing, as well as other dangerous drugs and medical devices, please visit Public Health Watchdog today.
Contact: Herbert Waichman, Partner
Parker Waichman LLP